Enter the Matrix, Movie-based video games still suck

by Mike Shea on 15 May 2003

Don't be a stooge like me. Don't buy Enter the Matrix. It is proof that the "video games based on movies suck" rule is alive and well. Today I finally finished this game, and while there were moments of enjoyment, the overall experience was not near as solid as other games in its class such as Halo and Max Payne. If you haven't already, play both of those through first. There are three main reasons to avoid Enter the Matrix:The control is terrible. They have a dozen first person shooters to choose control layouts from including Max Payne, which would have been perfect. Instead they choose one that is extremely hard to figure out, far from intuitive, and lacks the ability to truly control. There is nothing quite like going into "focus" mode (slowing everything down) only to watch four idiot guards shoot you in the back with machine guns while you spin in circles. I felt less like Keanu Reeves and more like Marlin Brandau.

There is no training mode. The "tips" section is a series of text rather than any good visual or control-based training mode. Even in the movie, Neo gets some training time. We get thrown into a bag full of pissed off postal workers without so much as a thank you.

The game is horribly buggy. The game actually crashed on me four times in three days. I thought crashing was all but impossible on a console, but while in the middle of beating up three guards at the same time (yes, they were shooting me to pieces but I was holding my own this once) the game froze with a high pitch whine coming out of my speakers. I had to get up and reset the box. Console games should never crash. Nothing says "rushed" to me like this.After finally finishing the game with Niobe, I had the following details sticking out in my mind. Some are good, some are bad:

Some bad details:Buggy agent tried to run the wrong way during an entire fight. While there are a huge variety of guns, they all act basically the same. The graphics for the hovercraft race through the tunnels was as close to Sewershark as I've ever seen a game get. The navigation arrow points the wrong way quite a few times. There is a severe lack in bosses, you never get to fight the twins which is very disappointing. How many times can I shoot a cop and not feel bad? How about some other baddies? There are no visual effects for the agent's focus when I shoot at him. He just bends around a lot. Completely disjointed music. Nothing for a while and then a huge chord! Not sure why =\Some good details

The Seraph fight was fun. I felt like I was in a kung-fu movie. The haunted mansion was fun. Vampires are always good. Lesbian kissing scene between Niobe and Persephone There were some better explanations for things that happened in Reloaded. After four or five hours, the controls become tolerable. I never did figure out the kick-off-the-wall move. There are some times you really think you're in the world of the Matrix. Audio effects on bullet time effects are't too bad. Bullets whizzing by in surround speakers. The hacking mini-game is fun but inconclusive. I never really got anything for my effort. The graphics for your main two characters are very good. Niobe's red snake-skin jacket is fun to watch shimmer in the light.When all is said and done, I am very disappointed. Stay away, go play the $20 version of Max Payne or your dusty copy of Halo. They are both much better games.